Why the 2023 Oscars Red Carpet Is Champagne Instead of Red, and Will It Stay Clean?

As a global audience starts to tune in for the 95th Academy Awards, one thing that is guaranteed to surprise viewers is the creative decision not to have a red carpet, but a champagne-colored runner instead. But can this bold choice withstand the traffic on Hollywood’s biggest night? UPDATE: It cannot, and the backlash is already brewing.

“I think the decision to go with a champagne carpet rather than a red carpet shows how confident we are that no blood will be shed,” joked Oscar host Jimmy Kimmel at the unrolling ceremony.

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This is the first time since 1961 that the famous Oscars red carpet has not been red, one of the many big changes made for this year’s ceremony including a new dress code and the addition of an Academy Award “crisis team.”

The Academy Awards hired the creative team behind the annual Met Gala, that team is lead by Lisa Love (a former editor of Vogue) and the Gala’s creative director Raúl Àvila.

In an interview with the Associated Press shortly after the carpet was unrolled, Love said, “We chose this beautiful sienna, saffron color that evokes the sunset, because this is the sunset before the golden hour.”

However, the change seems to be causing headaches for the organizers. With global news crews broadcasting and publicists surveying the area before talent including Austin Butler, Lady Gaga, Michelle Yeoh and more arrive, the carpet is already getting muddied.

Variety overheard that dirtied patches of the carpet had to be swiftly recut and replaced behind the scenes so nary a nominee would notice the spots. That being said Oscar nominee Angela Bassett is enjoying the change. “The carpet is different… I don’t mind it,” Bassett told Variety. “It goes with what I’m wearing in a nice way.”

Meanwhile folks online (and Oscar nominees) are having a field day pointing out the potential pitfalls of this decision.

In addition to changes like the champagne carpet, other additions implemented by the new carpet team include an updated dress code for staffers, press and publicists. The rules were revealed earlier in the week via email stating that, “there are design elements in place meant to highlight our nominees and guests,” therefore everyone not on-camera needs to abide by the new dress code of dark blue or black.

Will the new modifications bring in higher ratings or just spotty footprints? Only time will tell.

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